Alex Bryson, Rob Simmons, Giambattista Rossi, 08 May 2012

Are migrants paid more or less than their native colleagues? This column provides a unique insight by looking at data from an industry where there are many foreigners and where their relative quality can be easily measured – professional football in Italy.

Emmanuel Saez, Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais, 06 January 2011

This month some of Europe’s most skilled footballers will switch clubs in deals worth millions of euros. This column analyses the movement of Europe’s footballers between the top 14 leagues and finds that a major influence on player decisions to move is the difference in the tax regime – with policy implications going well beyond the football pitch.

Alex Bryson, Babatunde Buraimo , Rob Simmons, 22 July 2010

After losing the football world cup final in South Africa, the Dutch press blamed the “chump” of a referee from England for losing control of the game. Yet this column presents evidence that, as one of the few countries where referees are paid a salary, English referees have the incentives to be among the best.

Jan van Ours, Martin van Tuijl, 15 June 2010

The 19th football World Cup is underway in South Africa. This column studies the achievements of the national teams of Belgium, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands since 1960. It finds that while home advantage, skill, and luck play their part, in the dying moments of a game national identity can step forward as well.

Alex Bryson, Bernd Frick, Rob Simmons, 07 December 2009

The study of sports is beginning to tell us more and more about the operation of labour markets and incentives. This column looks at football to verify that wages reflect marginal productivity. It shows that two-footedness – the rare ability to use both feet to pass, tackle, and shoot – commands a large wage premium.

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